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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What we know of croyel from the second Chronicles is that they DO grant power, or at least lore, to their host. Kesreyn received long life, and certainly lore or power he would not have otherwise have had. And the arguleh at least gained the knowledge or the temperment to cooperate.

It makes sense to me that the croyel contributes something besides possession.

We also have to wonder about why croyel, and not Raver, I think.

This MAY have something to do with the form of Jeremiah's blankness. If it was created as some sort of means to defend himself against Ravers, it could explain the croyel.

As for Jeremiah's loyalty: I think Donaldson wants us to believe that it's up in the air, and that Linden needs to consider that it is up in the air.

But I don't expect Jeremiah to be happy about being possessed.

Then again, we have this:
In Fatal Revenant was wrote:
"He's Lord Foul's prisoner," she replied through her teeth. Tell her that I have her son. "I've known that since I first arrived. One of the croyel has him now, but that doesn't change anything."

"The Mandoubt does not speak of this. Rather she observes that a-Jeroth's mark was placed upon the boy when he was yet a small child, as the lady recalls."

Her statement stuck Linden's heart like iron on stone; struck and shed sparks.

The bonfire, she thought in sudden anguish. Jeremiah's hand. He had been in Lord Foul's power then, hypnotized by eyes like fangs in the savage flames; betrayed by his natural mother. He had borne the cost ever since. And when his raceway construct freed him to visit the Land, he may have felt the Despiser's influence, directly or indirectly. The Mandoubt seemed to suggest that Jeremiah had formed a willing partnership with the croyel. That his sufferings had distorted and corrupted him within the secrecy of his dissociation.

Still, I think that this is misdirection.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it was the croyel - and not a Raver - because, as far as I can recall, Linden was unable to "see" the croyel (she did not see the Kemper's son with her senses when she closed her eyes), whereas she would've sensed a Raver from ten miles.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with amani.

And Jeremiah's condition does seem similar to TC's stasis, but I suspect there's some crucial difference. Like that it was imposed by Foul to prevent J from using his power to save the Land, instead of by the Elohim to protect him, or something.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Bob Benoit: At the end of FR, when Linden is confronted in Andelain by Infelice, Infelice makes some comment about the Staff of Law hampering the effectivity of the Time Warden (who seems to be Covenant.)

One of the thoughts that pops into Linden's head is Convenant telling her that if she hadn't fashioned the new Staff, he would have been able to 'fix everything.'

What confuses me is that the statement actually came from Roger Covenant pretending to be Thomas Covenant. Are we to believe that TC feels the same way - that he wishes Linden had never made the new Staff? I seem to remember from the end of WGW that TC convinced Linden to pick up his ring and do what needed to be done after Lord Foul kills him.

Am I missing something?

Thanks.

Missing something? Hard to say. But you do appear to be confusing Roger Covenant’s statements, and Infelice’s, with The Truth--which in turn may or may not be the same as Thomas Covenant’s views. Just because Linden remembers what Roger said doesn’t mean that Roger’s manipulations have any particular authority. And Infelice certainly isn’t innocent of self-interest (or of manipulation, for that matter).

(10/19/2008)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting that one, DLB.

Donaldson's comments do seem to point towards the idea that both Infelice and Roger are lying or disguising the truth. Then again, perhaps this is a feint, and Donaldson is trying to lure us into believing that they aren't telling the truth.

Curse You, Mr. Donaldson!

It seems to me that if they're both misleading Linden, its pretty unlikely that they'd both choose the same lie. Unless they're working together, in which case its perfectly obvious.

Curse You Twice, Mr. Donaldson!

Anyway ... I think that this idea that the Staff hampering the Time Warden is a half-truth. If you think about it, supporting Law hinders anything that would work outside of it. I'm not so sure the Earth can be saved by forgoing the principles that Created it. Then again, maybe that's the only way.

Curse You Forever, Mr. Donaldson!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blind Mystic: Do not -- repeat, DO NOT -- give SRD a heart attack. We need him!
In the Gradual Interview was wrote:
Blind Mystic: What in the hellfire and bloody damnation are the wraiths? I've read through 8 books of this brilliant story and they are so pervasive, yet so apparently unimportant to the story, I keep forgetting to ask. will they suddenly show their true value to the whole story in this last chronicle? I know... I know... rafo. they seem so significant, but so piss ant weak, they're almost like literary catalysts for action in the book. on a strange humor note, I once thought of a raver standing near them as they trembled and tinkled all over themselves and he bends down and lights a cigarette off of one of them.
    "What we have here is a failure to communicate." World-building requires small inventions as well as large, minor details and powers as well as major. If Earthpower is really the essence of the Land, then it must express itself in lesser ways as well as greater.

    But *unimportant*? Break out the cardiac paddles. I think I'm having an infarction. If you asked me to name just one thing that makes the Land worth writing about, I would probably pick the Wraiths. If you asked me to name just one thing from the Land that I would like to actually see in person, I would probably pick the Wraiths. *Unimportant*? I'm afraid you'll have to ask someone else. I can't get there from here.

    (10/22/2008)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like this line:

Quote:
If you asked me to name just one thing from the Land that I would like to actually see in person, I would probably pick the Wraiths.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:

As for Jeremiah's loyalty: I think Donaldson wants us to believe that it's up in the air, and that Linden needs to consider that it is up in the air.

But I don't expect Jeremiah to be happy about being possessed.


There's an assumption that the Croyel and Jeremiah are different beings. I've long thought that the Croyel are manifestations of those trapped bodyless between the worlds like Jeremiah. The character we are led to believe was a Croyel possessing Jeremiah is in fact Jeremiah.

That would account for where his consciousness has been for the last 10,000 years since he was part transported to the Land.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:

Linden's Staff is not informed by the lore of the Old Lords - this has come up in the GI before, and it's been discussed here, too. But I think what is new here is that, whereas we may have believe that this was something Donaldson thought of later, in fact he planned for it twenty years ago. However, the true significance of this is still lost on me. I don't see what the lack of lore in the Staff prevents that is significant.


I think that if it had the same "structure" or "rules" that were applied to the Old Staff of Law it would go against the direction that Donaldson is going in the Last Chronicles which is change.

Although I fear that what Donaldson wrote about the new Staff not needing runes because it was a "living staff" is going away too.
That's too bad.
That seemed to be a much more powerful and giving Staff.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

High Lord Tolkien wrote:
Although I fear that what Donaldson wrote about the new Staff not needing runes because it was a "living staff" is going away too.
That's too bad.
That seemed to be a much more powerful and giving Staff.

Good point. And I share the sentiment. I was very disappointed when Linden finally got the new Staff (in Runes) and it didn't seem to be "alive" in any way. I was expecting it to say "Hi" or "Where the hell have you been for 3500 years?" or something like that.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
I was expecting it to say "Hi" or "Where the hell have you been for 3500 years?" or something like that.

Nah. Vain (almost) never speaks, and Findail wouldn't have anything nice to say to Linden...
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen any discussion of this question and I'm hoping for some clarification. Spoilers from FR abound. Kindof.
http://www.stephenrdonaldson.com/fromtheauthor/viewSpoilers.php?Recno=3986?all=&any=

Quote:
As I see them, the Insequent are a race. And like all the races current in "The Chronicles" (Giants, Haruchai, Ramen, Ranyhyn, Elohim, whatever), they have very specific characteristics which distinguish them absolutely from other races. When the Theomach defeated the former Guardian of the One Tree, he did not thereby become Elohim.
Wasn't the guardian an insequent rather than an Elohim?? I mean, I know there's some funky stuff going on between the Insequent and the Elohim but they aren't one and the same thing, right?

I really need to read the 3rd chronicles again. Actually I ALWAYS feel like I need to give every book in Donaldson's works a reread...
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Holsety"]I haven't seen any discussion of this question and I'm hoping for some clarification. Spoilers from FR abound. Kindof.
http://www.stephenrdonaldson.com/fromtheauthor/viewSpoilers.php?Recno=3986?all=&any=

Quote:
As I see them, the Insequent are a race. And like all the races current in "The Chronicles" (Giants, Haruchai, Ramen, Ranyhyn, Elohim, whatever), they have very specific characteristics which distinguish them absolutely from other races. When the Theomach defeated the former Guardian of the One Tree, he did not thereby become Elohim.
Quote:
Wasn't the guardian an insequent rather than an Elohim?? I mean, I know there's some funky stuff going on between the Insequent and the Elohim but they aren't one and the same thing, right?

They aren't the same thing as far as anyone can tell. Elohim are, Insequent learn. [so far].
The Guardians, that we know of, go, in order, Elohim (I think an appointed, but that's speculation), Theomach [Insequent], Brinn [haruchai]. Indications are that each guardian becomes something 'other' or 'in addition' by becoming the guardian, but do NOT become members of the preceding 'race' per se. (though it might be important that the Guardians are defeated, but it never says 'killed'...or it might not.)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some discussion of this GI response is here.

Donaldson clearly rules out that Brinn did not become an Insequent, just as the Theomach did not become an Elohim.

But, just as clearly, the text indicates that Brinn became something more than Brinn the Haruchai. Just as -- I presume -- the Theomach became something more than Kenaustin Ardenol the Insequent.

Making heads or tails of that isn't too easy.

Another thing we know was that the original Guardian was an Elohim.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Some discussion of this GI response is here.

Donaldson clearly rules out that Brinn did not become an Insequent, just as the Theomach did not become an Elohim.

But, just as clearly, the text indicates that Brinn became something more than Brinn the Haruchai. Just as -- I presume -- the Theomach became something more than Kenaustin Ardenol the Insequent.

Making heads or tails of that isn't too easy.


It's not that hard to do.

Zen practitioners often change their names after achieving a state of turiya. But they obviously remain human. Their conscious state is no longer normal to humanity; normal to humanity is attachment and they have relinquished or suspended all attachments, seeing through their illusion. They are no longer the person they once were, that person or personality is said to have "died."

The "death" of the previous Guardian is a metaphor for the "death" of personality and attachment. Haruchai, as you can see throughout the Chrons, are normally attached to the idea of battle. The idea that self-sacrifice and not battle is necessary to attain ak-Haru status is a secret comprehensible only to those who have attained it, a level of wisdom beyond the run-of-the-mill.

At first the student of Zen considers practice to be a kind of inner battle with the old self. This old self is analogous to the old Guardian, along with the battle. Brinn the Haruchai used self-sacrifice, the opposite of battle, to achieve his "enlightened" status. The old self, the old Guardian, "died," but we don't see what really became of him. It is as if he never existed. That is the way of the old self, it was only an illusion, as was the inner "door" blocking the way to Enlightenment. Opening the door, the Zen practitioner steps through and sees that the door was only an illusion. In this case, the "door" is the old Guardian and the illusion that doing battle is the way to defeat him. The old Guardian has passed away as the old self has passed away, is no longer seen, he has vanished like a hallucination. The key lies in seeing that the old self, and the necessity for battle, were an illusion all along, and enlightenment, or Guardian status, is achieved. What happens to the old illusory self, or the former Guardian, is irrelevant.

The ak-Haru is simply an Haruchai who has achieved enlightenment, who has cast off his old personality and his old attachment to battle and conquest, and found his "true" or higher self through sacrificing the old self.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Gradual Interview was wrote:
Jeffrey Phelps: Mr. Donaldson,

In Fatal Revenant, the Theomach of the Insequent appears. The Insequent are named so probably because of their ability to travel through time, with out effecting the stability of the Arch of Time. The Insequent appear to have the ability to so profoundly change the future, and even a little change, could prove to be destructive, yet the Arch appears to be untouched by their efforts. The Arch of Time contains and preserves the people and the history of the Creator's Land, in which the Theomach theorizes, ..."Yet I deem the Earth, and all within it the Land, were formed as habitation where living beings may gaze upon the wonderment and terror, and seek to emulate or refuse them"... This statement, (having a certain reference to the story of Genisis by the creator of the real Earth), indicates the Theomach does not personally know the Creator, and so may also cause the destruction of the Arch of Time by his "meddling" in the past. How do the Insequent's efforts not ultimately cause the destruction of the Land or The Arch of Time, when their efforts have not been defined by the Creator? (or have they?).
    Not to get insidiously drawn into Yet Another Creator discussion, I'll just make two quick points. 1) The Insequent are *not* so named because they can travel through time. Very few of them can do so. (E.g. both the Harrow and the Vizard cannot.) Each has his/her own area(s) of expertise; and some types of study automatically preclude others. 2) The Theomach is not known to travel through time (at least in any significant increments). When he encounters Berek, he is living in his "natural" time: he is not meddling in his own past. His *awareness* of time is vast; but that's a different form of knowledge.

    (03/04/2009)

Interesting. The only Insequent we have seen travel through time is The Mahdoubt. However, all Insequent do seem to have time-related lore, which Donaldson sort of steps around. But Donaldson does confirm here that the Theomach has an awareness that spans time, rather than an ability to move through time.

The Harrow's lore does present somewhat of a mystery. What is it? Even though he wasn't able to prevent being shifted out of time by the Mahdoubt, he made the attempt, which suggests some level of time-lore. And his rather intense study of Linden, a character from his far past, might hint at a possibility of an awareness that can see into the past, similar to the Theomach's skill.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:

The Harrow's lore does present somewhat of a mystery. What is it? Even though he wasn't able to prevent being shifted out of time by the Mahdoubt, he made the attempt, which suggests some level of time-lore. And his rather intense study of Linden, a character from his far past, might hint at a possibility of an awareness that can see into the past, similar to the Theomach's skill.

I have some suspicions on this...part of his [the Harrows] knowledge/focus seems to be on 'unnatural' lore and learning, and much of it seems mental [though he must have some physical lore since the Haruchai can't really harm him...though maybe that's built into his carefully descibed attire, or Insequent are naturally hard-bodied and fast]. He knows how to dismantle the Demondim. To the observers he appeared to consume them...he denies this, but how trustworthy is he? He may have acquired knowledge by doing so [or maybe they had no new knowledge for him, since he says they weren't 'nourishing' or somesuch]...I say that because he invades Linden's mind, possesses her...similar to Raver power, only better...Ravers force actions and torture the mind, but as far as I can recall, they don't control/strip the mind [they contain it, and damage it indirectly by forcing evil actions] and they don't consume that mind as the Harrow seems to be able to do. [if he succeeds Lindens body will be a 'husk' I think he said...when a Raver leaves a body, the mind may be damaged, but isn't it [I think] always still there?] On the battle, we only see, if I recall correctly, the effects on the Harrow. I speculate, though, that while the Mahdoubt was attacking, trying to displace him (a visible effect) he was trying to get at her mind. [when his substance kept snapping back into existence, he wasn't using any time lore of his own, he was parrying/attacking/grappling her power in her mind] She was stronger. With his power over minds, the Harrow also doesn't require any time-lore to know the past, though that doesn't mean he has none.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the Harrow's attack on Linden: he used his eyes. And then he shrugged off the Master's assault... until they went for the eyes. I think his eyes are special to him.

His ability to shrug off the attacks of the Demondim later in the narrative may have come from his lore of the Demondim.

I like your idea that the Harrow may not have been resisting the Mahdoubt pushing him through time by responding in kind, trying to keep himself in his time, but instead was attacking her mind so as to make her unable to do it. I wonder if the passage describes the Harrow gazing at the Mahdoubt the way he gazed at Linden?

The Insequent seem to be powerful but specialized, so I am leary of ascribing too many unrelated powers to one Insequent. I'd rather find one or two powers that explain everything.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bad news in the GI today.

In the Gradual Interview was wrote:
Robert Murnick: Dear Sir,

I've previously asked you about Foul as a character, and I may have discovered my problem. Please bear with me here.

I asked whether there was a chance we might read about Foul's origin. You answered that that would require you to truncate your intentions. I think I can see how that could do that. I don't need to read about how Foul's father beat him or how Earthpower destroyed the only "Dark Female Archetype" he ever loved, I just need to feel confident that he DOES have a backstory.

We have the idea that Foul is trapped in the World of the Land and that his goal is to break free. What he would do if he were able to accomplish this or if there even was a time when he was not trapped may not be relevant to the story you wish to tell. But isn't it relevant to to integrity of Foul as a character?

I'm emotionally attached to your story and characters; I expect to read them in any event. You raised the comparison with Tolkien's Sauron - "Even a character as simple and black as Sauron still makes choices in how he pursues his aims." But Sauron was kept at a great distance from the reader. There isn't much in the LOTR about his origins, although Elrond does say “Nothing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so.” That was enough to confirm for me Sauron's reality. Is there anything you can say to help me feel that Foul is more than just a (please forgive me for suggesting this Steve, please?) d-e-v-i-c-e? <hangs head, grovels, crawls away backwards with face to the ground>
    Well, of course Lord Foul is "just a device". Archetypal stories are like that: they use devices. (Don't get me started. I'm perfectly capable of arguing that every one of my characters is just a device.) Nevertheless I do aspire to something more.

    Where Lord Foul is concerned, however, my aspirations don't involve making him seem "real" in the same sense that, say, Esmer (or even Kasreyn) is "real". I'm trying to do something much more complex: I'm trying to make him seem "real" as a being who transcends ordinary definitions of reality. This, unfortunately, is rather like bringing God Himself on stage and engaging Him in argument. The mere act of doing so is inherently reductive: it makes Him less, well, God-like. (Which at least in part explains my dislike for "Creator" questions.) So how, I keep asking myself, do I make an eternal concept believable "as a character" without simultaneously making him too small to be himself? Ow! Just thinking about it makes my brain hurt.

    In any case, the question of Lord Foul's "integrity...as a character" is one that simply doesn't conform to the ordinary requirements of storytelling. <sigh> Maybe when I'm a God-like being myself, I'll be able to explain all this better.

    (04/15/2009)

If you were like me, and were desirous to hear more of Foul's backstory and get a glimpse into why he is what he is, well, it seems we'll be disappointed.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I suspect that any substantial (rather than philosophical, as this was) answer to that question would be seriously spoiler-ish. I'm sure there will be a deeper explanation of Foul in the story itself, and I hope I'll be happy with the end result.
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